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What to do with Green Tomatoes

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What to do with green tomatoes? Fall is officially here. The weather is cooler and the days are shorter. Hands down this is the best time of year! But, I have a little problem in my garden. Around here, I have a ton of green tomatoes left over.

This is partially because I had a little delay in starting most of the garden this year. Thanks to random snow storms and life! So, now we have tons of green tomatoes to use up.

This post has been updated from the original publish date of September 28, 2017

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Ripen the Green Tomatoes Indoors

Once the temperatures drop below 60, there’s less of a chance for tomatoes to ripen naturally outdoors. I have brought several in to help ripen them indoors.

To do this, add a few green tomatoes loosely in a paper bag and add a slightly ripe banana. This will help speed up the ripening process.

Be sure not to over crowd them when trying this method. And store on a counter top out of direct sunlight.

You could also try to continue to ripen them on the vine if you have the space and ability to set up a row cover.

fresh picked fried green tomatoes in a collander

Preserve Them

If you’re in overabundance of green tomatoes and want to preserve some of them for use later on, there are several green tomato recipes you make. Here’s just a few of our favorites:

Fermented Green Tomato Salsa

Green Tomato Chutney

Another family favorite is to make a salsa verde. Instead of using tomatillos, we use green tomatoes.

For this recipe, I just throw the following in a food processor until my preferred consistency is met:

  • 2 medium or large green tomatoes
  • 1/2 small onion
  • juice from half of a lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 small jalapeño
  • 1 garlic clove
  • filtered water (start with a tablespoon at a time until your desired consistency is reached)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe

The most popular recipe for most people to use up green tomatoes is to fry them up! And around here, we would have to agree. We love fried green tomatoes!

New to making fried green tomatoes? I pretty much just wing it and throw together a basic recipe whenever I make it. Ya’ll, its super technical and complicated. Ha.

These are quick and easy recipes so exact measurements aren’t really needed.

To make them, slice up the green tomatoes into about 1/3 inch slices. I make a basic egg wash using 1 large egg and splash of milk or buttermilk if I have it on hand.

Next, I mix a little bit of flour, salt & pepper and cajun seasoning in a shallow bowl. You can also add a little bit of cornmeal if you like. If I use cornmeal, I use it about a 3:1 ratio. Panko is another delicious option if you have it on hand.

Heat up a cast iron skillet with olive oil or your fat or oil of choice (bacon grease, lard, coconut oil etc). You’ll want enough oil to fry these tomatoes, but don’t really need to add so much that you follow a deep fry method.

Dredge the tomatoes in the egg mixture and then coat it in the flour mixture.

Add to the heated skillet with hot oil and cook on each side until golden brown. Add additional salt & pepper if desired. Easy, peasy!

fried green tomatoes

Green Tomato Parmesan Recipe

Follow the above recipe for fried green tomatoes, except replace the flour with Italian seasoned bread crumbs.

Additional ingredients needed for this recipe: red pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese, parmesan or pecorino cheese. Or add all three. Yum!

After you’ve fried your green tomatoes, single layer them in a casserole dish and spread a little tomato sauce on top, but don’t completely cover them. Sprinkle cheeses on top. Heat up in a 425 degree oven for just a few moments until heated through and cheese is melted.

Such a super quick meal for those busy nights!

A Few Other Recipe Ideas:

  • Savory or sweet tomato pies or tarts
  • Green tomato gratin
  • Bake them in a focaccia bread recipe
  • They make a great addition as pizza toppings
  • Or try fried green tomato sandwiches!

Related: 50+ Farm Fresh Tomato Recipes

Feed Them to Chickens

our chickens eating green tomatoes

If your chickens are anything like ours, most of them will welcome this treat! But then there’s the few select chickens who don’t care for them.

Some of our gals welcome this treat and a few are just extremely picky. I’ll usually slice or chop them up and add them with other treats for our ladies.

Green Tomatoes

Try some of these amazing recipes for some new inspiration on using up those green tomatoes!

More Farm Fresh Recipes:


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Thursday 10th of October 2019

My mother always used our green tomatoes to make mincemeat (for our thanksgiving and Christmas pies) and green tomato jam. She loved it on toast

Mary Woita

Saturday 19th of October 2019

Thank you for sharing. :)

Alisha Ross

Monday 5th of August 2019

I tried this sauce on turkey meatballs last night and served them to my very picky children and their even pickier cousins. What a HUGE hit! I cannot thank you enough – you’ve added a new staple to their diets …

50+ Farm Fresh Tomato Recipes - Boots & Hooves Homestead

Saturday 22nd of June 2019

[…] Here are more ideas to use up those green tomatoes.  […]